Many single fathers may feel that although Tennessee family laws recognize fathers' rights and the laws have evolved beyond the Tender Years Doctrine of the past -- which presumed that the best interest of the child is only served by placing the child with the mother -- it is still very difficult for many fathers to obtain equal child custody after a divorce. Fathers across the country have the same opinion and have taken their custody disputes beyond the courtroom and into their state's legislative houses.
With fathers' rights evolving over time, many unmarried fathers in Tennessee as well as in the rest of the United States, are voluntarily stepping forward to acknowledge their paternity. However, establishing paternity requires that a father follows certain rules to gain parental rights over a child. In fact, establishing paternity is one of the primary requirements of a child support arrangement, which goes a long way to protect the best interests of a child.
Unmarried fathers' rights to child custody and visitation are often a point of discussion and debate on various forums. Every state has its own set of definitions for terms such as "father" or "parent," and those definitions can have a significant impact on how courts consider child custody or visitation cases involving an unmarried father. Recently, a post on this blog discussed those definitions and provided an overview of the rights of unmarried fathers in Tennessee.
Many Tennessee residents may understand that according to the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, the federal government provides $150 million every year to various agencies to promote healthy marriages and fatherhood. Of the total amount, $75 million is dedicated to activities that promote fatherhood. The Responsible Fatherhood Programs are monitored by the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families' Office of Family Assistance.
Tennessee residents might notice that courts have generally favored mothers in family law matters. Now, however, the laws have evolved and an increasing number of contested family law issues are being settled in favor of the father. This is encouraging news for activists, who have been long-advocating for fathers' rights.
Many people in Clarksville, Tennessee, may have noticed the immense media frenzy surrounding the child custody disputes involving celebrity fathers such as actor, Jason Patric and Olympic skier, Bode Miller. Another case that prompted media attention involved a group of fathers suing a state for passing a law that allows mothers to put up their children for adoption without the fathers' consent. By means of their fight for fathers' rights, these people have now become role models to a huge population of fathers in a similar situation.
Many Montgomery County, Tennessee, residents would know that a common perception is that the biological mother is generally the best candidate to be the custodial parent for minor children. However, with the evolution of fathers' rights, there seems to be a recent shift in the gender roles and perception in child custody and child-rearing. Fathers have come a long way from the classic role of the disciplinarian and are shifting towards becoming hands-on, involved parents in their children's lives.
Many Tennessee residents probably remember a time when courts routinely treated men unfairly when it came to some family matters. The practice stemmed from the general legal establishment's belief in the tender years' doctrine that believed the best interests of a child were better served the mother. However, that is no longer the case and fathers' rights have evolved and gained acceptance in courts in Tennessee and the rest of the United States.
Parenting time or visitation in Tennessee often becomes a contentious issue between former spouses and can end up in a legal battle. What is meant to foster healthy child development by allowing quality time with a noncustodial parent can become something definitely not in the best interests of the child.
Married couples in Tennessee understand that dissolving a marriage can lead to additional and future problems. These problems can often surround their children. This is often due to one parent being the most suitable caregiver for the child or children but, in some cases, couples divorcing will use their children to hurt their soon-to-be ex-spouse. This does not only create more issues and disputes, this could harm the child in the long run.